The Sanctuary is a thriving experimental model for integrated land care and forest restoration. There is indisputable evidence that natural vegetation cover definitely improves water flow resulting in perennial springs. Complex habitats can be rehabilitated or restored faster to a degree of health with protection, succession, and re-introduction. Significant change can therefore happen to a place that has been degraded by human activity, and also to endangered populations of native plant species.

Much of the GBS lands were under lemon grass and tea plantations. The return of shrubs, trees and young forest with over 100 native tree species in a period of 15 years, as well as springs, wildlife and tender plants, to such depleted places is a rare thing to see. We also have a farm and dairy. Year by year, the produce from this way of "forest farming" increases, the intention being to approach self sufficiency in rice, spices and fruit, and for vegetables during the dry period.

We have never been interested in the standard way of "carbon offsetting" with tree planting, as this is inefficient, requiring long term monitoring. Besides, few schemes guarantee the use of native species or of healthy diversity. However, many individuals have supported our efforts to nurture forest (natural habitat) recovery on degraded land. This is a great carbon sink. Also, wildlife, springs, soil and hundreds of native plant species benefit from this approach.

An article on forest farming published in LEISA India.

An excerpt on the land from an old newsletter.

An article Land is Money, written for Land Matters, an international farmers magazine.

An excerpt from Tower Lessons